a state-run news agency by any other name…

First, it was Armstrong Williams. Now, it’s Maggie Gallagher. One wonders where it will end, and just how many columnists have been taking money from the Bush administration to energetically champion their policies. Here’s a clip from today’s Washington Post:

In 2002, syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher repeatedly defended President Bush’s push for a $300 million initiative encouraging marriage as a way of strengthening families.

“The Bush marriage initiative would emphasize the importance of marriage to poor couples” and “educate teens on the value of delaying childbearing until marriage,” she wrote in National Review Online, for example, adding that this could “carry big payoffs down the road for taxpayers and children.”

But Gallagher failed to mention that she had a $21,500 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help promote the president’s proposal.

While we’re on the subject of skirting ethical boundaries and using deceptive means to sway public opinion, you might want to check out this post at Metafilter, where someone has identified over half a dozen identical defenses of Ashlee Simpson which sprung up in on-line music forums after the “singer” got booed off the stage by 70,000 people during the halftime show at a football game… The lesson? You don’t have to buy people, when you can create them.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted January 27, 2005 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    The Bush administration has said it will stop hiring propagandists but I wonder if they’ll know they won’t disclose the names of any other commentators they paid off.

  2. Posted January 27, 2005 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I just read about Ashlee in us weekly. Those guys at the football game were total jerks. She said she wishes the critics will pick on someone else and i agree. Do you think MTV is gonna play the boo on her show? It’s on after Newlyweds again right? I hope they let her tell her side!

    Mandy

  3. mark
    Posted January 27, 2005 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    And another one done got caught

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